Any way to verify other offers on a property?

9 Replies

On a recent home purchase, I submitted an offer and I was told there were no offers on the home when I submitted mine. The next day when the deadline was nearing on hearing back from the home owner, the listing agent told my agent there had been multiple offers on the home since I submitted mine. I ended up increasing my offer on the advice of my agent and got the home.

I was told there was no way to verify if there were actually any other offers on the home. Now that I'm looking at investing in real estate, I'm trying to get as informed as possible about this situation in case it happens again. Is there anyway possible to verify there were actually other offers especially after closing? I trust my agent but I also would like to be able to verify what they told me was true especially when it cost me more money.


First, I'm not in your market so the rules may be different but the result is the same.  There's no way to know for certain.  They must not lie or mislead the public according to their code of ethics.  I'm sure it happens anyway but over time the scoundrels tend to be found and weeded out. 

Short answer:- NO (sigh).  An agent, yours  and theirs, have the license at stake if they mess around with you. In a 1031 exchange I had to hammer both with  threats due to the agreement to cooperate and the constant surprises of new partners and unfilled liens with an approaching lapse of the 180 day limit.  Sure got their attention.

Your  agent should be in your corner so push for information - -

  1.  tell'm "I'm paying you to keep me informed".

In the end, there's  just no way to see/find such information.

If your market and listing allows for automatic escalating offers ($250 above best price of highest other offers, up to X) then you can get around this and the clause is written such that they have to show you the other offers once your offer is accepted by them.

Hi Account Closed,


I guess I would like to know to what end. "A better offer" doesn't always mean higher price. What is better really is up to the seller. If I listed a property for sale for 100K and one party offered 85K no inspection, 7 days blah blah. I may be apt to take that over your offer of 92K with a 60 day everything else. Now if you came back with 96K I may see it worth waiting the other days etc. If they were identical and one wanted a parking block painted and the other didn't care, who is to say the seller has to take the one that wanted the work done at any cost?
The sellers agent would not be required to tell you as the buyer (or your agent) the terms of the other offer or what the seller finds appealing, his job is to get the best "offer" for his seller, not necessarily the best "price". Offering that information at any time (even after closing) I would think would start all sorts of problems. "My offer was better because I only wanted this and it was quicker or he should have taken mine because nobody pays 2K to paint a parking block and mine was clearly better (even if he just wanted to wash his hands of the property).

Good luck in your investing!

I know for a fact many banks use this tactic when selling foreclosures. Every single one I have purchased I received a Multiple Offer Scenario disclosure asking for my highest and best offer. Several agents have told me they are required to send it out whether they have other offers or not and most people add at least a few thousand to their offer.

So there are a few ways to verify this actually....#1 do you trust your agent, and is your agent a full time  real estate professional. This comes into play because then your agent probably has a good idea if the agent on the other end of the deal is someone who is truthful, or a ********ter. I know what agents in my market have a reputation for lying or stretching the truth.

The other way is you can ask for a copy of the other contract, with names blacked out.  In the hot areas in my market where we are using escalation is standard practice to show the first page with names blacked out to justify the escalation amount. However in non escalating situations, to ask that from a reputable agent would be insulting, and would likely kill your offer.

This happens to me all the time and I wonder if someone's pulling my chain.  Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to verify, at least in CT.   I guess you have to trust the process.  I usually have a price that I'm not going over and if I don't get it, Oh well.  I've lost a few deals, unfortunately. 

Brett - Yes, I'm sure they are found out after a while. Codes of ethics/rules/laws only tend to keep the honest people honest.

J - Thanks for the input. It would be handy if there was a way.

Percy - Good information, thanks!

Mike - Good point, I guess it is all about perspective.

Nick - I guess it is an effective tactic for the institution but not good for the buyer...

Russell - Good point that the agent should know the market and other agents operating in it. And it is interesting that wanting verifiable facts might kill your deal. Good information. Thanks.

Tammy - I think the key is like you said to know your limit and not go over it. 

Short answer: not really. I got voodoo'd by this on the very last house I bought, where I am *certain* the bank would have come down another $2k but the selling agent magically produced another offer that was going to come up $1k from the bank's offer in order to "entice" me to take the bank's "final" offer. Well, it worked, but only because it was already a smoking deal and I was just trying to shake a few more pennies from the cushion - otherwise, I would have walked and had my agent tell them to sell it to the other offer ;)

On the plus side, I now know how this particular agency operates, and I will avoid their listings in the future. So no, you won't know, which means you have to just operate by your own bottom line. In my case, I was several thousand below what I was prepared to pay so I sucked it up.